Anthrax Home > Cure for Anthrax

Whether anthrax can be cured depends on several factors, including what type of anthrax the person has. For some types of the disease (such as cutaneous anthrax), treatment usually involves antibiotics. When dealing with inhalation or gastrointestinal types of the disease, the cure is also antibiotics, but these types of anthrax need to be treated before severe symptoms are present.

Anthrax Cure: An Overview

The cure for anthrax will depend on a number of factors, including:
  • The type of anthrax (see Types of Anthrax)
  • How early the anthrax is diagnosed
  • The strain of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis)
  • The patient's age and general health.
Early anthrax treatment with antibiotics and supportive care (to treat symptoms and complications of anthrax) will improve the chances to cure the infection.

Cure for Cutaneous Anthrax

Cutaneous anthrax can usually be cured with antibiotics. The cure rate for cutaneous anthrax is 99 percent with treatment. Left untreated, the anthrax cure rate for this type of the disease is still 80 percent.

Curing Inhalation Anthrax

There have not been enough cases of inhalation anthrax to know the specific cure rate for this type of the disease, although it is thought to be only around 25 percent. One reason it is so low is that people with inhalation anthrax often confuse early anthrax symptoms with more common infections, such as the flu or common cold, and do not seek medical help until severe anthrax symptoms appear.
By that time, the destructive anthrax toxins have already risen to high levels, making anthrax treatment difficult. Antibiotics can kill the bacteria, but antibiotics have no effect on anthrax toxins.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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